Tag Archives: Gen Y

Closing the gap between the bosses and the employees.

Yesterday I read an article on Nextness about Emily Birks who is a Senior Account Manager at Pulse Communications, Ogilvy PR. Last week she participated in PRIA’s My Generation event as the representative for Gen Y in a panel discussion about how to can close the gap between bosses and the employees.  Here are her findings:

There are 4.5 million of us born between 1978 and 1994 and we are dominating the emerging workforce. And PR is one of the industries where it’s even harder to escape us.  To put it in perspective, 76 percent of Ogilvy PR’s current employees are Gen Ys.

We are the most labelled generation ever and the discussion kicked-off with a few of those labels being thrown around. The bosses described us as selfish and always thinking ‘what’s in it for me’, only caring about more money and job titles, and not being able to listen as we are constantly checking our phones or updating our statuses.

But in order to close the gap between bosses and employees you can’t label us with one big brushstroke.

Gen Y spans almost 20 years so it’s not sensible to consider this a target audience. Bosses should acknowledge life stages, career stages, professional needs, socio-economic differences when trying to motivate staff.

As employees we have a desire for customisation which I don’t think is unique to our generation. People of all ages want to know they can walk into a new job and carve out their own opportunities if they do well and are loyal to the company. It’s more about understanding expectations.

What ‘shiny’ things beyond salary attract us to a new job or keep us satisfied in a current one?

According to 2011 McCrindle Research one of the top priorities for Gen Ys when looking for an employer is a “great culture”. And I agree with this. We come to work at least 40 hours a week so it’s important that we enjoy being here each day and I think the people we work with play a huge role in that. All the Gen Ys in the room acknowledge the importance of great mentors in keeping us satisfied in a job.

Training also came out as being important to us.

We like to feel like it is a mutually beneficial relationship, Gen Y want something back and training and development shows that the agency is willing to invest in us. I know I always walk out of a great training session feeling reinvigorated and and grateful that I work for an agency that offers inspiring training.

Loyalty and Generation Y.

According to McCrindle Research on average Gen Ys spend two years with an employer versus the national average of four years. The bosses asked us what keeps us loyal to an agency.  As we tend to get bored easily it’s important to be presented with new challenges and we need to be able to see a future for ourselves at the company. Being rewarded for being loyal doesn’t hurt either. I just had my three year anniversary at Ogilvy PR and being rewarded with three extra days of Loyalty Leave is a nice little perk. It makes a difference.

As a generation we might be labelled more than past generations. But at the end of the day the same fundamentals of great management and leadership remain.

Follow Emily Birks on Twitter (@embirksy). This article was first published on Ogilvy PR’s blog.


Yours representing Generation Y,


The Social Network movie review

The Social Network is the story of the early days of Facebook and the egos, greed and rivalry that comes hand in hand with the billion-dollar idea. It’s based on real life events, but the people in the know claim it’s been ‘Hollywoodised’ to some degree … which has to be expected really. In case you didn’t know, Mark Zuckerberg, a Gen Y Harvard student, built Facebook with some college buddies in his dorm room in 2004. However, like most great ideas that turn global and are worth an absolute packet, you’re bound to tread on a few toes to get to the top.

The film tracks the Facebook story from the beginning, highlighting Zuckerberg’s programming genius with his Facemash site (similar to Hot or Not, but rating college students instead) that scooped an amazing 22,000 visits in its first four hours online. While he gets a Harvard slap on the wrist, his new found college status pushes him in the sights of twins Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss (both played by Armie Hammer). They approach Zuckerberg to program a social networking idea. He agrees to ‘help’ them and then turns the idea into a much better idea: The Facebook (he later ditches ‘the’).

Zuckerberg, brilliantly portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg, comes across as a highly intelligent, IT geek with poor social skills. Therefore, it’s rather ironic he pioneered the world’s most popular social networking site that’s all about connection, communication and friendships. He burns his best mate, partner and financier Eduardo Saverin, played by Andrew Garfield. He becomes chums and business partners with Napster founder Sean Parker, portrayed by Justin Timberlake. And he loses the girl (don’t worry, it’s not a spoiler, it happens in the first scene!).

The Social Network will not only interest Gen Y audiences, but Gen X and anyone business minded will take a message home from this top-rating film. It’s set in college, but most scenes take place in lawyer’s offices where Zuckerberg’s eccentric quips bring a touch of humour to this drama. Zuckerberg comes across as a complex character, who you neither love or hate, but who you do slightly understand. And now, he’s the world’s youngest billionaire. Not bad right?

I rate it 4 out of 5 stars. What did you think of the film?

Yours in social media,


PS: To see what the social media critics have to say, Mashable’s movie review is worth a read. As is The Herald Sun review which gives the film 4.5 stars.

Microsoft launches social media savvy mobile phone to youth market


Microsoft have lifted the veil on their latest mobile phones – Kin One and Kin Two – designed purely with Gen Y, and even Gen Z, in mind. Long gone is the main necessity of a phone to actually administer and receive phone calls … no, today we expect our phones to be multi-level digital communication devices that we only occasionally make phone calls on. You know, when we’re not using it as a GPS, to read the news, to email the office, or to listen to our latest iTunes download. Thank you iPhone, and thank you Blackberry.

Now, the youth of today, prepare yourself … the new Microsoft Kin One and Kin Two mobile phones are designed solely for the social generation. You don’t need separate apps for Facebook, Twitter or MySpace – in fact access to apps is apparently not an option. Instead via the home screen the user can stream live feeds from social networks offering minute-by-minute updates and entertainment. Facebook updates, tweets, photo albums have never been so easily assessable before in an interactive pocket-sized package.

With touchscreens, slideout keyboards, cameras that record high defintion video, the Kin also offers online storage of photos and video through Kin Studio. Manufactured by Sharp and aimed to provide easy access to Microsoft online services, the Kin phones has hit the US market first, followed by Germany, Italy, Spain, and UK.

Social media is rife, influencing how we communicate to our friends, our colleagues and our customers. And now, with the rise of mobile phones supporting social media integration, especially the social-media super savvy ‘the Kins’, who knows where technology will take us next?

Yours in design,